* The GM ad running in Southern California is a Lucas special
effects creation showing the electric appliances of a house
running outside to see the car drive up.
- How do you like the car?
We like it very much! We had some initial problems, but
these now seem to be behind us. Plugging the car into the
charger every night has become second nature, and it seems
to be more convenient than making that extra trip to go to
the gas station.
- How far can you go on a charge? ... and also ...
Can you drive to Las Vegas with it?
We haven't done detailed calculations yet, but we
are currently (after about a month) getting an estimated
range of 60-70 miles. This is figured from the miles
driven and the estimated remaining mileage figure
calculated by the car. Obviously it would take a long
time to get to Las Vegas! It's too bad we can't tap some
of that power they're using for just lights in Las Vegas!
UPDATE- See our detailed range
- How fast does it go? I think people are still
thinking about golf-carts when they ask this.
The computer limits the top speed to 80 mph, but
a modified version hit 183. The 80 mph top speed might be
just barely enough for driving on the freeways around
here! A future model that could make it to Las Vegas would
have to do at least 90 to keep up with traffic!
In terms of acceleration, officially GM claims 0-60 mph in
"under 9 seconds", but here are some independently
published results (we haven't tried it ourselves):
- Popular Science (4/97):
0-60 mph: 8.1 sec. (0-30- 3.1 seconds)
- Popular Mechanics (7/97):
0-60 mph: 7.6 sec. (1/4 mile- 16.2 seconds, 78.0 mph)
- How often do you charge the car?
We always leave the car plugged in when it's at home.
When a charger is available at a public facility we also
plug in just to "top it off."
- How long does it take to charge the car?
About 3 hours using the charger installed at the house
if it is completely empty. Usually we don't run
the car all the way down, so it takes much less time than
that. For more info, take the
- How much is it costing you to drive around?
We haven't worked out the numbers as we haven't gotten
our electric bill yet. Also, the charger is still (as of
1/23) hooked to our normal residential meter. When the
City of Cerritos gets around to inspecting the setup, the
charger will run off a separate meter which will give us
lower cost electricity during off-peak hours.
5/23/97 Update - Our first electric bill
(more details) indicates
that it is costing about $0.50/day, using off-peak
For information regarding electricity rates in Southern
California (in particular for EVs), check out the
Time of Use (TOU) rates listed in a
message forwarded to me by Bob Siebert.
- How do you tell how fast you're driving?
We usually turn the car on to demonstrate the answer this
question. This comes up because there are no traditional
dials on the dashboard. Everything is digitally
displayed, and this display is in the center of the
dashboard, right under the windshield.
- Do you work for Southern Cal Edison?
NO! Why are people asking this? Is Edison giving cars
away to their employees? No one has asked us if we work
for GM or Saturn.
- How many cars have been sold?
The following rough figures (as of mid January) were
provided by Bob Siebert, who attended a meeting of the
EVAOSC (Electric Vehicle Association of Southern
California) at which Saturn representatives were present:
Sold: low 90's
Serious inquiries in process: 120
Subsequent updates provided by Saturn personnel:
- 2/10/97 - 129
- 4/12/97 - 173
- 6/21/97 - 203
- Why didn't they put solar cells on the car to charge
The short answer is that it would take WAY too long to
charge the batteries! For the long answer, I asked Bob
Siebert, who installs solar electric systems, to run the
detailed solar charger calculations.
- Where's the glove compartment?
There isn't any! I guess the designers figured it doesn't
get cold enough in Southern California to require gloves,
so we don't need a glove compartment!
- How does it feel to drive a silent car?
Actually, the car is not TOTALLY silent. In a quiet place
you can hear a small coolant pump running. And if you
have the vent fan running, then that becomes the loudest
sound (like your PC with its cooling fan). When
accelerating, the car has a distinct whine (Jean says like
the Batmobile!). On the freeway, none of this makes any
difference because noise from the tires and wind
dominates. And if you're gridlocked on the freeway, the
car next to you is making enough noise to cover the lack
of noise from the EV1.
- This one was submitted by another EV1 owner, Margaret Cheng,
an SCE employee:
Do you get free electricity for charging?
The answer is no! I am paying the same EV rate as anyone
who wishes to get an EV and sign up for this special rate.
With this rate, if you charge at night, it costs only
about one third of the regular residential rate.
Sometimes we get some pretty strange reactions...